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Narrow endemics to Mediterranean islands: Moderate genetic diversity but narrow climatic niche of the ancient, critically endangered Naufraga (Apiaceae)

AuthorsFernández Mazuecos, Mario ; Jiménez Mejías, Pedro; Rotllán-Puig, Xavier; Vargas, Pablo
KeywordsAmplified fragment length polymorphism
Balearic Islands
Plastid DNA haplotypes
Species distribution modelling
Issue Date20-Aug-2014
CitationPerspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 16(4): 190-202 (2014)
AbstractNarrow endemics constitute the cornerstone of Mediterranean plant diversity. Naufraga balearica (Apiaceae) is a critically endangered, extremely narrow endemic plant from the western Mediterranean island of Majorca. Because the species belongs to a monotypic genus, N. balearica was hypothesized to be a palaeoendemism. Here we conducted phylogenetic dating, population genetic and climatic niche analyses in order to understand the evolutionary history and conservation perspectives of this flagship species. Phylogenetic dating analysis of nuclear and plastid DNA sequences revealed a late Miocene to early Pliocene divergence between Naufraga and its sister genus Apium, supporting the palaeoendemic status of the former. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers and plastid DNA sequences of the five Naufraga populations revealed moderate genetic diversity. This diversity is in line with that of other palaeoendemisms from western Mediterranean islands, as revealed by a comparison with 22 other narrow endemic species from this region. Despite the fact that all Naufraga populations are located at a maximum distance of 10. km in a straight line, a strikingly strong population differentiation was found for AFLP markers, which is explained by long-term isolation likely related to short-range pollination and dispersal strategies of the species. While the species is not genetically impoverished, species distribution modelling and microclimatic monitoring revealed that narrow ecological requirements underlie the current extreme rarity of Naufraga and may jeopardize its long-term survival. Our results indicate that a multidisciplinary approach provides powerful tools to develop conservation strategies for evolutionarily singular lineages. © 2014 Geobotanisches Institut ETH, Stiftung Ruebel.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2014.05.003
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2014.05.003
issn: 1433-8319
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(IMEDEA) Artículos
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